Oh wow, is it time for another yearly summary already?!!
2019 was my second year as a travel blogger. Funnily enough I ended up visiting the same amount of countries as in the previous year, so 9 different countries in 2019 (plus Norway). These were spread out over 3 different continents, and 4 of these countries were new ones added to my list.
I went traveling solo twice, and I also traveled together with my boyfriend Thomas, with friends and with my family. I also got to explore a bit inside of Norway – something I really want to do even more of in 2020.
2019 was also the year I went on my first couple of press trips. I visited South-America for the first time, a continent I definitely would like to explore more. This was also where I got my first food poisoning, which I cannot say was one of my top travel experiences of 2019. Luckily though, most of my travel memories from this year is good ones.
Let’s have a look back at my travel year 2019!
We started off 2019 with a bang – as both Thomas and I went on a press trip to Beitostølen for the weekend, exploring a skiing paradise without having skis on my legs. As it turns out, though, this area has heaps of other things rather than just skiing to offer, and we had a blast with new friends.
As the absolutely non-winter person that I am, I spent most of January inside, hiding from the cold, snowy Oslo, saving up money for our soon to come-holiday. I visited Reiselivsmessen together with Thomas, and casually daydreamed of all the exciting adventures to come. My friend Karen from Kristiansand visited us, and we lived a balanced life in Oslo with trips to the gym and then wine in our glasses.
Come February it was adventure time! My friend Caroline, Thomas and I flew down to Chile to visit our friend Ingeborg for two weeks. Chile has been a country I’ve wanted to visit for years, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. We visited both Santiago, the capital, where Ingeborg lived, the stunning village of Valparaíso and the exciting Atacama desert. I would love to one daygo back to Chile, and I definitely want to explore Patagonia.
The rest of February and March was spent in Oslo, recovering our bank accounts, reliving our past travels through writing blog posts. We splurged on a couple of meals out, but other than that we were mainly at work, the gym or home.
Highlights: We made several new, travel loving friends at Beitostølen, visited a new continent and I got a lot of new inspiration.
Finally, in April the weather started to heat up, and with that I started to explore outdoors again We pretended to be tourists in Oslo on “Turist i egen dag” together with Lena and Steinar, tried electrical scooters for the first time and started to drink our wine outdoors.
In May I turned 30, an event I’d been dreading ever since turning 20. Luckily, I have some pretty amazing people around me, both my friends, family and Thomas, and they all made sure I felt pretty special and loved on my day. It was also this blogs official one year anniversary!
May is definitely the big celebration month – with loads of my friends hitting the big 30. It’s safe to say that there was a lot of cake to be eaten and celebrations to be held. We also celebrated the Norwegian national day in Oslo, and then my older step-brother got married on the 25th. A busy month filled with happiness!
Highlights: New places was found and adventures happened close to where we live, and we had a lot of quality time with friends and family.
June is officially summer time in Norway, with live music and drinks in the park, as well as late, bright summer nights out on our balcony. I might not always love Norway (sometimes it just feels a bit too expensive, dark and cold for my liking), but I definitely live for those long summer nights.
I finally got to visit a new country in June again, as I went solo for a long weekend to Italy. I visited Milan on a budget, after being gifted some flight points from my friend Chris (thanks a million), where I spent most of my time eating and exploring the city, and slept in a box.
In June Thomas and I went back to Beitostølen, this time with my mum and step-dad to attend the music festival Beitostølen Live, where we saw Minor Majority, The September When and Sting, and went hiking at Valdresflya. A great weekend!
June continued being busy and awesome, as I went on a press trip to Dalarna, in order to attend Midsummer, perhaps the most important event of the year in Sweden. We celebrated in Swedish style with flowers in our hair, slept in a flying Moon and tried SUP.
In July I got a virus that literally had me without a voice for an entire week. Luckily, I regained it, and Thomas and I went both adventuring in Oslo and attended Tall Ships Races in Fredrikstad on a busy and exciting weekend. I did several pieces about travel photography at work, and was featured on Scandinavian Photo’s “Photobloggen” twice, where I shared some tips for how to take better travel photos. See the tips here and here (in Norwegian).
July ended with a weekend getaway to Vestfold where we hung out with friends in the cabin, swam, had bubbles and BBQed.
Just as July merged into August we headed towards Denmark, this time with my dad, step-mum and little brother. We visited both Skagen and Sæby, two gorgeous cities on Northern Jutland. Sæby was one of the places I visited in my childhood summers, and it was great to be back, and both get to explore it through the eyes of my little brother, and showing it to Thomas as well.
August continued with some quality time back in Oslo. We attended the Rammstein concert, after first being scammed, something that even reached the newspaper. After that it was only fitting that we both left for Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany – finally visiting my friend Romina and her boyfriend Mike.
We had an incredible long weekend, filled with adventures and excitement (and wine), visiting both a wine yard in Kaiserstuhl, finally seeing the fairtytale-like city of Colmar in France and even squeezing the time to float down Rhein in Switzerland.
I ended August back in Denmark again, this time on a girls trip to Copenhagen visiting my friends Othilie and Helene who lives there, together with my friend Sandra. We used to see each other daily while studying in Kristiansand years ago, and it was nice to be reunited again.
Highlights: I challenged myself to go solo travel again, enjoyed the long, bright summer nights with friends, and we had time for family trips both inside of Norway and to Denmark.
After a lot of traveling during summer September was spent back home again working, and this was also when Thomas scored a new job (the one who prevented him from being able to go to Thailand with me, but which was still great, and after all allowed me to challenge myself on a solo adventure).
September was also when we were finally heading to Kraków, Poland, with my mum and step-dad, their amazing birthday present for me from back in May. We spent a lot of time eating and exploring the city, and also made time to revisit the Salt Mines Wieliczka and Auschwitz. A weekend who definitely provided both a lot of food for thoughts, and at the same time a lot of love and happiness.
October started off with another adventure in Norway – this time visiting Aurdal to find the true autumn colours of the mountains. However, a couple of days before we arrived, the first snow fell, covering up most of the colours. At the end though, we did end up having a great time with my family though, hiking, taking photos and relaxing.
Highlights: Thomas scored a new job, which he loves, and we had a blast both in the mountains and in Poland
I’d saved up holiday and spent the better part of a year planning our trip to Thailand, and then Thomas could not go with me after all, as he had his new job to attend. I’m not gonna lie, I did go back and forth numerous times about what to do. Eventually I did decide to continue on as planned, the only difference being that the romantic getaway now would be a solo trip.
I started off in the north of Thailand, visiting Chiang Mai. Here I attended two light festivals, tried living both at a hotel and then a hostel, before I headed down south to the Krabi-area, island hopping and snorkeling for the first time in my life. I rounded up the trip with a few days in Bangkok, to get the taste of that big city-life. The whole thing was an absolute success, and I have heaps of posts from this trip I am so excited about showing you later on.
Back home in Norway again it was time to start getting ready for Christmas. And then all of a sudden, Christmas was the last thing on my mind!
Thomas was admitted to the hospital, after the doctors had found “something on his liver”. He’d been feeling gradually more and more tired over the last couple of months, and as I returned from Thailand, he was worse than ever. Now he was also sweating a lot at night, and I became alarmed when his smell changed. The doctors first suspected he had an amoeba infection, and based on the size of the puss filled lump on his liver, they estimated he could have gotten it either during our trip to Morocco or Chile.
For 15 days life basically consisted of working, then visiting Thomas at the hospital. Luckily he had his own room, and so I was allowed to come and go as I wanted. As it turned out, it was not amoeba, but e.coli that Thomas had. We still don’t know how he got it, or why he did not get any of the normal symptoms. On December 20th he was finally declared well enough to leave the hospital, and we could start preparing for Christmas.
Christmas was spent traveling around in Østfold, visiting both our families. After a few dramatic weeks, it was pretty damn good to see Thomas getting his appetite back, and being able to start planning 2020 together.
Hightlights: I got Thomas home in time for Christmas, feeling well again, and I had my longest and biggest solo adventure so far (which I loved!)
The Year of Travel 2020
For Christmas Thomas and I was gifted a trip to Farris Bad in Larvik, a spa hotel I’ve been wanting to visit for years. We also decided to treat ourselves with flight tickets to New York in April – which will be my first visit to North America. I’m so excited!
Other than that, we’re having a few loose ideas (including Christmas markets and some other plans I’ll get back to later on) – but I’m 100% sure 2020 will have a lot of exciting travels and adventures both home in Norway and out in the big world. I probably will end up traveling both with friends, family, Thomas and solo as well in 2020. The list of places I want to go continues to grow, but I’m always open to suggestions and ideas.
Now that’s my summary for 2019, and I guess what’s left is thanking you all for visiting my blog, for commenting, sharing and reading. I wish you all a happy new year, and hope you’ll stay around following my adventures also during this next year.